There is a significant law enforcement presence in DC since it is both a mid-size metropolitan city and the national capital. The associated law enforcement needs to come with that scale of population. Also, the associated security needs that come with all the various government institutions and facilities in the area results in a heavy and public law enforcement presence in the area.
Read below to learn more about DC law enforcement. And if you are facing charges, call a seasoned criminal lawyer.
The local law enforcement officers include the metropolitan police department. That is the local law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia, which is the equivalent of city police in other metropolitan areas. Due to the fact that DC is a federal territory, while they are somewhat equivalent to city police or metropolitan police, they are under federal jurisdiction due to the unique nature of being a federal territory.
There are state police in the area. However, there is no state trooper presence or state police operating in DC, because it is not a state. There are state police in Virginia and Maryland that patrol, especially the federal parkways, such as George Washington Parkway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway between Baltimore and D.C. Those are both patrolled by the federal national capital guard and police law enforcement.
State police patrol many other state highways, like I-95 and I-66 that are in the DC area, but the state police are confined to Maryland and Virginia. They have no jurisdiction within DC because D.C is federal land and not a state.
The state police do not have any authority and they do not work within the District of Columbia, but they maintain a strong presence just over the border in both Maryland and Virginia. As soon as someone exits the border of DC, whether crossing the river into Virginia or heading north or east into Maryland, they will be subject to law enforcement from state police and other local law enforcement in either Virginia or Maryland.
There are other special police in the District of Columbia that are worth mentioning. DC has so many different federal agencies and many of those agencies have their own law enforcement department that operates in the city. In addition to the metropolitan police, there are FBI Police, United States Park Police, United States Pentagon Police, and the Capitol Police who control the Capitol and congressional buildings in the Capitol area. There is also Secret Service law enforcement that works under the purview of the Secret Service.
Given the large military presence in DC, there are military police that has a public presence in the area. There is the U.S. Mint Police that works for the U.S. Mint. In addition, there are Customs and Border Protection Police working the area, Metro Transit Police, whose jurisdiction is the D.C. metro system, and many others.
Where law enforcement officers concentrate their effort depends on the different groups. For example, the jurisdiction of the U.S. Capitol Police is the U.S. Capitol Building and congressional offices, which are generally concentrated on Capitol Hill in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of DC. The FBI Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Police, protect FBI facilities and employees. The FBI headquarters is in Washington, D.C. and they also have a field office in the city. The FBI Academy is in Quantico, Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C. The Metropolitan Police Force, which is the general police force for the entire district, is split up among seven different districts, but they patrol the entirety of the District of Columbia and serve as the local law enforcement for the district.
For more information about DC law enforcement, get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney.
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